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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Freemasonary in the midst of the brethren


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How many times are Christians warned against the cult of Freemasonry?

I can't remember ever hearing any warnings against Freemasonry from the pulpit. Other than one time I travelled about 35 miles to hear a guest speaker from the other side of the world.

Any views?

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Here in Georgia (my area at least), the churches are full of Masons...FULL.

Laymen, teachers, deacons, and pastors...the churches are FULL of Masons and Eastern Star members. The general view is that Masonry is a "christian" organization, but when you point out the inconsistencies with Masonry and the Bible, it falls on deaf ears and you're quickly seen as a troublemaker.

I can't tell you how many times I've shaken hands during "fellowship time" at different churches and received the sissy, limp-grip, thumb-between-the-knuckle Masonic handshake. Makes my skin crawl...

Two things I learned early in my preaching...

If you want to have preaching opportunities where I live, then don't ever preach against...

  1. Masons
  2. Democrats

Been a while since I've been invited to preach anywhere around here... :scratchchin:   :nuts:

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We have freemasons next door on one side of our church, and muslims on the other side, and JW's just down the road.

I don't  preach against freemasons because the Lord hasn't led me to - but there is no need in this church. A long time member was a freemason when he got saved, realised very quickly that it was unbiblical, and left.

Anyone mentions it - or if he notices - he is very quickly onto them.

It is discussed at times as well.

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What NN posted reminds me of a town I stayed in for awhile in Kentucky. The town was run by Masons and the gathering at the Masons lodge and the local Baptist church were almost identical.

I wouldn't say one can't be a Christian and a Mason since I've know a couple of Masons which have a sound testimony, both of salvation and fruits, but from what I've observed it seems most Christian Masons are of the secular variety, not born again.

Over a hundred years ago there was a large group of Masons here but they moved on or died off or something. Their old lodge became a store, then some apartments and now sits mostly useless, other than for a bit of storage, needing torn down.

With no Masons around it seems the local pastors, like Dave, have not been led of the Lord to preach on the matter.

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Over a hundred years ago there was a large group of Masons here but they moved on or died off or something. Their old lodge became a store, then some apartments and now sits mostly useless, other than for a bit of storage, needing torn down.

​I wonder if that was anything to do with the National scandal concerning Captain William Morgan who was murdered by some Fellow Masons for disclosing some of the Masonic Secret Practises, afterwards Masonry lost allot of its decent members. Chris Pinto of Adulam Films did three or Four excellent DVDs and a CD on the Topic of The Mystery Religion, including quite a bit about Freemasonry, Rose&Cross and Jesuit-ism, and in particular their attempts to subvert the gospel and to rule the World.

Freemasonry is pretty much a non topic in this area, most people won't discuss it, I think it is also more secretive in the UK, some people would take offence if asked if they were members, according to C Pinto old school Masonry it was a complete secret if you were even a member, I sometimes wonder if Masonry in the UK has more underground than it does in the surface.

An interesting unconfirmed report is that the UK Masons are in negotiations to rebuild Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.

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In Australia they present as a social club, but there is a mechanism that runs behind it all.

This comes from our ex-mason member and from documents I was given some years ago.

They are like the mormons in that - there is the surface institution, and the underlying monster that you only find out about once you are in too deep.

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The nearest Masons' Lodge is small and they mainly act as a civic group. They rent out their hall, have sales there, perform some public services and that's about it. There aren't many of them.

In the areas where there are many Mason's they are typically very active in community organizations, politics and one or more churches. Also, at least here in America, Mason's love to advertise their membership. It's common to see Masons sporting Masonic belt buckles and rings. If, like in that Kentucky town I mentioned previously, they control things, these signs of being a Mason are also used as means of intimidation and control.

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​I feel I need to interject here...

Each one is a soul in dire need of correction and deliverance, and you'll never get anywhere without love.

Sword,

Thank you for the gentle rebuke/reminder; it was well said. Though I tried to be humorous with my input, I apologize to anyone it may have offended.

How often we forget that we all were involved in things that we shouldn't have been after being saved. None of us became sinless at the moment of salvation, nor will we be sinless until we're made perfect when we're with the Lord one day. I'll fess up on something here...I was in a rock band when I first got saved, and I continued to be in the band for several months thereafter. The Lord dealt with me about it rather quickly, but it took a while for me to submit and give it up and leave it behind. 

I agree with you; in that, just because someone is a Mason...that doesn't mean they're not saved. I think that like all of us, a lot depends on their personal walk with the Lord. If a person is saved, and they sincerely want to grow, want to learn, and want to please God...they will. I do think that's the key though...to sincerely desire those things. If a person isn't studying God's word, praying, learning, etc., they'll be susceptible to accept things they shouldn't or wouldn't.

It's easy to point out faults in others when we know something is wrong, and we don't struggle with it. At times, it's hard to comprehend why someone can't see that what they're doing is wrong, but it would do us all good to remember that our relationship as a child of God is a growth process. No matter how much we've grown, no matter what sins we've laid aside through repentance, no matter what we don't struggle with, no matter what sins don't affect us...the fact remains that all of us...still sin.

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​I feel I need to interject here on behalf of the hypothetical individual you're describing because the tone of this thread seems to echo your sentiment to varying degrees. This is not an attack on this quoted post in particular or anyone really, but rather a plea to all who are concerned with the issue.

At full disclosure, I was a Mason for a few years (just after graduating college) before I got right with God. I was saved long before I ever even considered that. Many concerns about Freemasonry are valid and wholly agree that a Christian should not be a part of it. However, I would ask that you please realize and keep in mind that just because someone is a Freemason does not negate their claim to Christ. Almost to the person, every Mason I ever knew who fit this description fell into one of two categories:

1 - They did not think critically about anything they encountered in in Freemasonry. Everything is done in highly symbolic fashion such that people who aren't inclined to look below the surface never see anything out of place. A requirement for entry is the belief in a singular deity. Combined with the ceremonies revolving around a narrative about building Solomon's Temple (albeit an entirely fictional one) with many Old Testament references; many undiscerning Christians don't see how it can refer to anything but the faith that they know. They, themselves, have been greatly deceived and just don't understand what the fuss is about. They think they're in an organization that augments their Christianity. They're not devious. They're not heretics. They're not cultists so far as they understand it. They are simply deceived/misguided/undiscerning and need loving correction.

2 - It is entirely a social club. They don't see anything particularly religiously binding and the majority of time spent in/with the lodge have nothing to do with spirituality. They play dominoes and eat chips and cookies. They lean on each other through personal problems. They volunteer with charities and having meetings on public service projects. They just spend time with their friends. Simply put, they don't see it as something in opposition to their faith or in direct support of it. To them, it's no different than the Lion's Club or Rotary Club or even their local DFW. As far as they see it, they're a group bound together by a higher moral standard (one of their tag lines is "taking good men and making them better"). They simply think they're involved in something dedicated to the greater good, and that's all the investigation they think they need. Again, they're deceived, not condemned.

Look, I know all the downfalls of Freemasonry. I came out of it for a lot of a good, biblical reasons; but please don't make the mistake of branding all of its members cultists like Mormons or Jehovah's witness. I know some that are as worldly as the visitor sitting in the pew next to you and some that are as spiritually mature as anyone here and could run circles around most of us in a biblical/theological discussion. Being deceived and entangled by something that intentionally obscures its true nature does not negate their saving faith. They are every bit as much a redeemed believer as you and I. (please keep in mind I'm not talking about all Masons, just those who continue to proclaim Christ)

Yes, they are a part of something that ultimately teaches heresies of all kinds. Yes, they absolutely need to come out of it. I simply ask that you consider their statement of faith and treat them with brotherly love, because I promise you that the people they're entangled with treat them with more of it than what I see posted about them by those who see Freemasonry for what it is. Each one is a soul in dire need of correction and deliverance, and you'll never get anywhere without love.

​Yep, I think what I so briefly stated and you have also at length expounded are in agreement. I stand by what I said. If they claim Jesus Christ, and enter into the brotherhood of freemasonry, then continue to contrast it with the Bible they will come out. Praise God you did my brother in Christ.

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The one thing I have mentioned to some friends of mine who are believers and Masons, is to get them to think about one thing: While in the lower levels, the first three, (as is my understanding, anyways), they reveal to the person the meanings behind various symbols. When they achieve the next level, they are told that the meanings are actually not what they were told, but really, they are such-and-such. Then, upon reaching the third degree, they are once again reinterpreted to them. So, I say, the very fact that an integral part of their growth in the organization centers around being LIED to, in itself shows that it is not Christian. So far, it hasn't fazed them and they continue on. I think many today join because of the help it can give them in career growth and some certain power in the local small community.

I have spoken against Masonry from the pulpit, though I have not done a concerted sermon on the subject because, like others here say, its not generally an issue, no one in my church is a Mason. However, none of them are Mormons, either, but I talk against them. Why? Warning. If they don't know to beware, they will be subject to falling for it, so I DO warn about it.

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A customer/friend of mine, a black "COGIC" preacher who stops by to talk sometimes, will tell you that the black churches are full of Masons and he knows how wicked it is and how dangerous they can be. As a very young Christian, while out on visitation one night, I loaned a pamphlet to a business associate of mine. Unbeknownst to me, this associate's father was a Mason and the pamphlet ended up at the "the lodge". A few days later, I got a phone call from one of the "worshipful masters" and he was none too happy about the pamphlet. I didn't mess with the Masons anymore after that, and the pamphlet/booklet, which belonged to my Sunday School teacher, was never returned.

I was once accused of being a Mason, on this forum by someone no longer a member, wgho was looking for something to accuse me of.  I had some Egyptian art and hieroglyphs on a website advertising how I could produce bas relief and 3D art and I guess he associated that with the "all seeing eye" or whatever else the Masons use. So I decided to end that ad project, :) Egypt is a "Type of the world" anyway.

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​I wonder if that was anything to do with the National scandal concerning Captain William Morgan who was murdered by some Fellow Masons for disclosing some of the Masonic Secret Practises, afterwards Masonry lost allot of its decent members. Chris Pinto of Adulam Films did three or Four excellent DVDs and a CD on the Topic of The Mystery Religion, including quite a bit about Freemasonry, Rose&Cross and Jesuit-ism, and in particular their attempts to subvert the gospel and to rule the World.

Freemasonry is pretty much a non topic in this area, most people won't discuss it, I think it is also more secretive in the UK, some people would take offence if asked if they were members, according to C Pinto old school Masonry it was a complete secret if you were even a member, I sometimes wonder if Masonry in the UK has more underground than it does in the surface.

An interesting unconfirmed report is that the UK Masons are in negotiations to rebuild Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.

​I used to work with a mason who was very secretive and all we knew about it was when he took a day off for lodge meetings.

In another department there was a mason who used to talk about it.  He was very interested in Solomon's temple, saying that Solomon was the first mason.  He asked me to join the masons but I said I couldn't as I was a christian.  He said there were a number of Christians in his lodge and even one bishop.  When I said it was a pagan religion, he said they were not a religious organisation but only existed for charity work.  When I mentioned the infamous P2 lodge who seemed to be involved in many scandals in Rome and the Vatican, he said they didn't consider P2 to be masons.  

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Invicta  I think because Freemasonry is secretive it can take a lot of research to find out details about their structures, I know Chris Pinto covered mostly Scottish rite Masonary (but also many other well know Societies) because it is the most numerous and widespread mostly in the USA, He thought they were all chartered from the Lodge in England, but then he found out that there are also Lodges which got their charters From Scotland, the two don't seem to get on all that well, but I think the P2 (I think P2 is a French based brand) was also  disassociated by the English Masons, I heard a Rumour that the Italian Lodges have sided with the Asian Secret Societies against the West. Masonary is not what you would call top of the tree structure wise, I think when Masonry united with the Illuminate that Freemasonry was the more innocent party, I think it was more like a takeover, agreed upon none the less by the Masonic leaders at the time (1778 or there about) Another dark base of occult knowledge and influence is the Lucias trust which is rooted in Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's theosophy Society, and has a central Library in the basement of the UN building. For a Good overview of the whole topic and how it all relates to the Bible I would recommend Chris Pinto. 'Megiddo March to Armageddon.' is a good Documentary, he has probably done about 12 hours of good quality Documentaries in total.

http://www.adullamfilms.com/

there are some full copies on youTube by permission.

http://www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/talks_and_articles/the_esoteric_meaning_of_lucifer

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Invicta  I think because Freemasonry is secretive it can take a lot of research to find out details about their structures, I know Chris Pinto covered mostly Scottish rite Masonary (but also many other well know Societies) because it is the most numerous and widespread mostly in the USA, He thought they were all chartered from the Lodge in England, but then he found out that there are also Lodges which got their charters From Scotland, the two don't seem to get on all that well, but I think the P2 (I think P2 is a French based brand) was also  disassociated by the English Masons, I heard a Rumour that the Italian Lodges have sided with the Asian Secret Societies against the West. Masonary is not what you would call top of the tree structure wise, I think when Masonry united with the Illuminate that Freemasonry was the more innocent party, I think it was more like a takeover, agreed upon none the less by the Masonic leaders at the time (1778 or there about) Another dark base of occult knowledge and influence is the Lucias trust which is rooted in Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's theosophy Society, and has a central Library in the basement of the UN building. For a Good overview of the whole topic and how it all relates to the Bible I would recommend Chris Pinto. 'Megiddo March to Armageddon.' is a good Documentary, he has probably done about 12 hours of good quality Documentaries in total.

http://www.adullamfilms.com/

there are some full copies on youTube by permission.

http://www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/talks_and_articles/the_esoteric_meaning_of_lucifer

​Thanks Brother, I was doing some study on the llluminate a while back and found your post to be correct  and very good history lesion to follow up on the links you provided.

God Bless

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